Clubbing and COVID-19 are not a match made in heaven, to say the least.
While the two completely juxtapose one another, club owners and managers are trying desperately to work within restrictions to keep their businesses afloat. Prior to the 10pm curfew, many club goers were offered a COVID-friendly way to enjoy a booze-fuelled night with their friends. Table service and seated dancing acted as an emulation of people’s favourite club nights. However, many people seemed to miss the chaos of a true nightclub experience. For me, there was a distinct lack of sweaty people bumping into each other, “where r u” texts, and even people screaming “pump it up” at the top of their voices on the dancefloor. Only being allowed to leave your table for a cigarette or to visit the loo leaves people somewhat confused as to what they are doing in a club, rather than a pub or even their own living room. This lack of purpose is probably the reason many people decided to up and leave before midnight – even without the desire to grab some cheesy chips for the journey home.
I must say, it was a valiant effort from the clubs to make a comeback but, for most, it just does not cut it. Now, with the new 10pm rule, many people are struggling to wrap their heads around pres at 4pm – I can’t really say I blame them? With that said, I do think it is important that people continue to make an effort to go out and maintain the party spirit in these uncertain and uneasy times. With a bit of time, I am sure people will be able to make the most of the situation and enjoy clubbing in a slightly modified way.
Ultimately, young people love a party and whether clubs are open or not, they will find a way to keep the party scene lively. There has been some suggestion that the summer of 2020 has been another “summer of love”, whereby hedonistic party animals took matters into their own hands to satisfy their debauchery driven desires. Despite this, the limited clubbing opportunities gives way to socialising in different settings, whether it be going for brunch or a cup of tea and a catchup. This allows for a sober interaction that could be deemed more meaningful and enable friendships to develop in a different way, other than offering someone a shot at the fever bar.
I am sure that in the future the party culture will still pervade the social scene. However, the social lives of youths may no longer revolve so heavily around club nights, now other methods of socialising will probably be more equally weighted in society. I am not ruling out “social discoing” as a way forward, but for me and many others, it will never live up to clubbing pre-COVID. As to whether nightclubs will ever be the same again, only time will tell.
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